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Monthly update: January 2020

January 14, 2020

I’m very excited for 2020 and what the new year has in store for me and my family. For 2020 I try to write blog posts more frequently.
What happened this year so far? There is a new version for my custom Theme Cobalt 2 and currently working on the next update for Made my day. And last but not least I started tracking my development time.

Cobalt 2

A WebStorm update kind of forced me to take a look at my custom Cobalt 2 theme because some colors got mixed up and certain parts were displayed differently than they used to. I took this chance to do a little overhaul… some colors just didn’t felt right anymore. The orange was a little bit too orangy ( #ffc600 vs #ffc107 ), the magenta was not glowy enough ( #ff628c vs #e91e63 ), global functions and interfaces now have their own dedicated beautiful green ( #00FF51 ), the blue got improved ( #9effff vs #b7fffc ), a new blue got introduced at certain places ( #6ba5d3 ), the green for strings got a little bit lighter ( #80ffbb vs #afefaf ), the default text color is not grey anymore but a very light yellow ( #cccccc vs #fff0c7 ), and a lot of other small things…
Even though the changes might look small in comparison without real context, I can promise you the theme feels a lot cleaner and more crisp. You can get it from the Jetbrains plugin page or inside any Jetbrains IDE from the plugin repository.
Let me know what you think of the new version of Cobalt2.

Made my day

I still have one feature almost ready in the pipeline for Made my day. With the last two updates I added themes and proper image support, now I want to focus on making it accessible for more people. I’m going to start this by adding language support, so you can use it any language you want. In the beginning there will be german, english and maybe french/spanish. I plan to add new languages from time to time if there is a demand for it. But for this I also need your help - contact me if you want to help.

Daily Time Tracking

I started to track my developing time, because I wanted some statistics/overview how much time I spend on which topics.
Initially I had a look at Timeular. The design and workflow is just beautiful. I also like that there is a mobile app so you can even track on-the-go or when you are in a meeting. The charts and analytics seem to be very clean with a lot of information.
But… in the end I found it too expensive for my simple time tracking use case.

I didn’t find any cheaper alternatives to Timeular, so I started looking into software only solutions and found Daily.
I’m only using it for a couple of days, but the workflow is great. You don’t need to worry start or end times, you simply get a small question popup where you can insert your current task. And that’s it! The accuracy is surprisingly good and it doesn’t interrupt me while working.
Advantages

  • Easy to get started with! Great tutorial on first app start
  • Awesome workflow
  • A lot of settings
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • 30 day free trial

For me there are only two little downsides:

  • No statistics/analytics included (but there is a JSON export available, so maybe I just build my own little dashboard)
  • You have to pay a subscription. To be fair the price is quite low (10€ / year) but I don’t like subscriptions when they are not really needed and could easily be replaced with a fixed amount.

I will continue testing and using Daily for a couple of days before I decide whether I pay the subscription or look for an alternative. Stay tuned for the next update.


Nicolas Gehlert

Personal Blog written by Nicolas Gehlert, software developer from Freiburg im Breisgau. Developer & Papa. Github

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